Basic question about straights

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by lightcs1776, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    I have only owned two straight razors. One I gave away, the other I have kept and used in an attempt to learn to shave with straights. It is a Geneva Company Strait made near me in Geneva, NY. However, even after sending it out to be truly "shave ready," it tugs when I shave, even with the grain. So, my question is this; would a better straight be easier to learn on and do y'all have any recommendations for what to purchase? I really can't spend much right now, but perhaps down the road I can invest a bit in an effective straight razor. Thanks.

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  2. M14Shooter

    M14Shooter Well-Known Member

    The edge could have been rolled during stropping .Geneva's are very well made razors that should shave very well . Do you have the ability to refresh the edge on a finishing stone,An easy check is try to shave some air hair .If it can not do that well .It needs to be honed again .
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  3. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    You are going to be hard-pressed to beat NY steel

    ps: I guarantee my honing, as do most other Guys that hone for money
    I would ask the guy that honed it to look at it for you first.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  4. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I agree with the other comments. I own several Geneva Cutlery blades, and they are superb razors, to shave with. Some of the best steel out there. I would acquire at least three razors, and get them all professionally honed. Then I would use one, until it is no longer performing well, and go onto the next. Get a good quality strop, and a Balsa Wood strop, to touch the razor up, when it starts to tug, and the leather will not help. Cheapest route to go. But, there are several was to maintain an edge, for next to nothing. Many use a Barbers Hone.
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  5. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tips. I will look into re-honining the razor. It was done for me when I purchased the razor (second hand). I will need to pick up some lapping film in the near future.

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  6. markjnewcomb

    markjnewcomb Well-Known Member

    My thinking goes like this:
    When you get the razor back after honing, DO NOT strop before the first two shaves. If it is still tugging, then I would look at my technique.

    If it is NOT tugging for the first two shaves, but IS tugging afterward you have stropped, I would look at my stropping technique.

    Also, I have found that a lather which is too dry and/or not slick enough can make a razor tug the hairs instead of cutting them.
  7. Paul76

    Paul76 Well-Known Member

    i would agree with what has been said already, and also ask what facial preparation do you do? If the edge is still fine make sure you do good prep, make a slick wet lather, stretch the skin and maintain the angle keeping the spine one to two widths off your face. The angle varies from one mans face to the next, so you will need to find the sweet spot for yours.
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  8. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    I usually shower before shaving with the SR. I make a fairly wet lather in comparison to the lather for DE shaving, and shave so the spine is just off my face. There is a good chance that I rolled or dulled the edge while stropping. I have a balsam strop at home that I will try. Perhaps it will salvage the edge.

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  9. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

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    PM me your address and I will send you a strip of 5, 3 ,and 1 micron film
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  10. mrchick

    mrchick Odd, Terrible Avatar

    I agree with Mark. Do not strop after a pro hone. I ruined a few nice edges while learning to strop.
    You will have a hard time finding a better vintage blade than what you have. Figure out straight shaving with this blade before jumping down the rabbit hole. Have fun!
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  11. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    That is very kind. Thank you!

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  12. markjnewcomb

    markjnewcomb Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure that further stropping will help a rolled edge. If I suspected a rolled edge, I would run the blade through a wine cork, which should pull the roll out.

    Opinions, people?
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  13. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    Is there a way to tell if it is rolled? A magnifying glass perhaps?

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  14. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

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    This might help you decide on where the problem is

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  15. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
  16. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

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  17. Pilotcld

    Pilotcld Well-Known Member

    I can also guarantee @gssixgun ‘s honing ability. If the other guy won’t do anything to help you, it would be worth it to send to him. He did a wonderful job with my great grandpa’s dubl duck after a different place told me they made it “shave ready”

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  18. Pilotcld

    Pilotcld Well-Known Member

    What is micron film?

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  19. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    The person that honed it the first time did so as a favor, so I have zero complaints. I would like to learn to hone myself. I have several woodworking tools, such as hand planes, that I get pretty sharp. However, I need to step it up a notch with the straight razor.

    The microns are a measure of grit. The finer films will give a really sharp edge, after working through the courser grits. I have been wanting to try lapping film for a while now, as Japanese honing stones are far out of my budget. I am pretty excited about Linuxguile's offer. Plus, I am a big Linux fan, having used Linux since the 90s, starting with Redhat 3,so it just makes it that much cooler coming from him.

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  20. Pilotcld

    Pilotcld Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the quick answer! Yeah, I’ve always wanted to learn how to hone as well. I’m hoping the next time I’m in Japan that I’ll be able to find some honing stones at a more affordable price range.
    That micron film sounds sweet. Looks like I got some more research to throw in my to do list :)

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